A Detailed Guide to Understanding and Treating Scabs on Scalp

Scalp on Scabs

Treatment for Scabs on Scalp: Hair and scalp problems are very common, and everyone faces them at some point or the other. Various cases are mild and go away on their own, but some cases may cause serious deformities of scalp and hair. Scabs on the scalp are one such skin ailment which needs proper treatment, or they can get serious.

What are Scalp Scabs?:

Scabs on the scalp are raised yellow crusty patches over our head. Scalp scabs may also be dark colored and bleed too. Scalp scabs may be itchy, irritating, painful and appear randomly. These scabs on the scalp are minor lesions, and cause of scabs can be attributed to scratching hair, pulling and picking dandruff, tight braids and pony. These may not pose any health condition, but they are painful and displeasing.

Persistent scratching and picking the scalp damages the outer layer of the skin. When the skin tries to heal itself, it forms yellow, red crusted tissues to accumulate which is called a scab. Scalp scabs can be due to lice, nits, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions. If these scabs on the scalp are not treated, they may result in bad and unpleasant odor in addition to the displeasing look. Don’t worry if you have scalp scabs as there are ways to treat them easily and quickly.

Causes of Scabs on Scalp:

Ever wondered why do we have scabs on scalp? Well most of us have been suffering from these skin infractions for years and continue scratching them to aggravate further. There are underlying causes for these sores on the scalp and these need to be diagnosed properly before taking any treatment

1. Dandruff or Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Dandruff or Seborrhei

Dandruff is a very common problem, and most of us have it for our lives. Dandruff makes our skin scaly, itchy and flaky. With severe dandruff comes yellow or red scaly pimples stuck up at the hairline behind the ears. When pimples mature and break, the skin begins to heal by forming crusty patches. These cause immense itchiness and resulting into scratching and actuating scabs on the scalp.

2. Eczema or Psoriasis:

Eczema or psoriasis

Both eczema and psoriasis can cause scalp scabbing and cause tiny white patches over the head. These induce scratching, and these tiny white flakes get shredded to entire hair length. The scalp eczema and psoriasis cause skin patches and lesions. These result in scratching and wounds and further aggravate by causing more itchiness. These scabs won’t go away and keep coming up again and again.

3. Oily Scalp:

Oily hair and scalp can be one of the main causes of scabs in the scalp. Oily secretion cause sores, dandruff, scaly skin, flaky skin and constant scratching sensations.

4. Using Chemical Based Hair Dye or colors:

chemical based hair dyeMost people have allergies from these harsh chemical based hair colors, and soon after applying dye or color they see scabs on their scalp. Mild to severe itching results as soon as the hair color is applied and with continuous scratching, it gets aggravated. The common ingredient in hair color that causes these sever allergies is para-phenylenediamine.

5. Tight Hairdo:

Tight hairdoPerm, weaves, braids and extensions keep the hair tightly packed and hence the sweat or perspiration keeps getting accumulated in addition to oils from hair. These also make the hair brittle and causing it to break often. The hairline lesions may even start bleeding, causing sores on the scalp and scabs on the scalp too.

6. Lice and Nits in Hair:

Lice and nits in hairLice and nits in hair cause immense scratchy and itchy sensations, thus prompting hands to stay in hair. This results in picking and causing the skin dermis layer to break in some areas. Nits on hair follicles and shafts are visible and cause a lot of discomforts. These result in a lot of scabs on scalp.

7. Cancer:

Some researchers suggest scabs on the scalp can be a sign of cancer and must be diagnosed by a health-care provider immediately. Caution for over four weeks of bleeding and paining scabs on the scalp, they need an immediate diagnosis. Also, skin cancer is a major cause of sores on scalp. These scabs on scalp due to cancer would not heal at all, be itchy pink or red bumps and may even turn into ulcers on the bump.

8. Scabs are a Result of Shingles and Ringworms:

Both shingles and wing worms are a result of viral infections on the scalp. They cause an eruption of blisters which dry up and cause crusty scabs on scalp. These prompt scratching and may aggravate further

9. Picking Scabs Due To Anxiety or Stress:

Some psychological causes also prompt picking scabs and forming sores. Stress causes hormonal spikes on our body. They also cause acne and pimples which turn into scabs on scalp. People under stress pick this acne or pimples and even cause bleeding and aggravating the wound.

[Also, Read: Ayurvedic Remedies for Acne and Pimples]

10- Seasonal effects:

Scabs on the scalp can also be caused due to seasonal changes, especially in winter when the skin loses moisture and is dry and flaky. Winter brings dry scalp, and it is prone to pimples, acne, and dandruff. They may form skin lesions, and if untreated they result into severe scabs on scalp.

How to Get Rid of Scabs on Scalp:

Scalp scabs can be treated effectively and prevented too. There are both home remedies and salon based chemical treatments which can work as scabs on scalp remedy. Scab scalp treatment calls for little patience and some changes in lifestyle, food, and fitness too. Some scab scalp treatments include:

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Eggs
  4. Tomato Yogurt Mask
  5. Aloe Vera
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Jojoba Oil
  8. Warm Compress on Scalp
  9. Lemon Juice
  10. Listerine Mouthwash
  11. Tea Tree Oil

1. Coconut Oil for Scabs on Scalp:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a miracle potion for all skin and hair ailments. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant and antiseptic properties in addition to soothing and calming our scalp. Coconut deeply hydrates and moisturizes the scalp. Continuous massage of coconut oil can get us clear and nourished scalp in a few weeks. Also, take steam at home using a hot towel to cover the oiled hair for 10 minutes. This also cures dandruff and other skin deformities.

2. Olive oil:

Olive oil is another wonderful oil with immense properties for hair nourishment and hair care. The hydration power and non greasy result makes it most preferred hair oil. Just apply olive oil and massage your scalp for 15 minutes daily. It will clear off the scabs from scalp soon.

[Also Read: Important Oils for Hair Growth]

3. Eggs:

Eggs are protein rich naturally occurring moisturizers which sooth, calm and condition hair and scalp. Just beat a few eggs and make a frothy white mask. Use brush or fingers to apply this mask on hair and scalp. Leave it covered with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Now wash it with lukewarm water. It not only clears the scabs off but also nourishes the scalp too.

4. Tomato Yogurt Mask:

Tomato is rich in vitamins and citrus and yogurt is a natural probiotic which helps in clearing bacteria and virus too. Both help in strengthening hair roots and nourishing hair scalp. Blend the two in equal quantities and make a mask. Apply this on your scalp and leave for 30 minutes. Now wash with lukewarm water. Repeat twice a week to get rid of scabs on the scalp in a few weeks.

5. Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is a natural hydrating gel with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also helps in nourishing and strengthening hair and scalp. Just apply fresh cut aloe Vera gel to your hair and scalp and leave for an hour, now wash with lukewarm water. Continue once a day for severe scabs on scalp. And twice a week for mild sores on scalp, these scabs on scalp treatment is most soothing and calming of all. Here we wrote a detailed article about benefits of Aloe Vera go check it.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple Cider Vinegar
ImageSource: pinterest.com

Apple cider vinegar is a magic potion for all skin and hair care problems. As a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant, ACV helps in curing scabs on scalp effectively. The powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of ACV helps in fighting the infection well also it balances the pH level of flakes scalp thus preventing itchy and dry patches of skin.

How to use Apple cider vinegar for scabs on scalp:

  • Mix ACV with warm water in 2:1 ratio
  • Now wash your hair with this solution
  • Let it stay for 15 minutes after applying
  • Gently massage for 15 minutes in circular motion
  • Then rinse well with lukewarm water

Repeat twice a week for extreme scabs on scalp.

7. Jojoba Oil:

Jojoba Oil
ImageSource: pinimg.com

Jojoba oils is a great essential oil which has amazing moisturizing and healing properties. The scabs on scalp are healed and the itchy scalp is also hydrated to ease off the pain and itchiness from the scabs. Jojoba oil balances the natural oils on our scalp and also gives a soothing feel.

Just warm some jojoba oil and gently massage all over the scalp. Continue for at least 15 minutes and keep it over night. The next day wash with gentle shampoo and lukewarm water.

8. Warm Compress on Scalp:

Warm Compress on Scalp
ImageSource: made2style.com

Scabs on scalp can also be treated easily with a warm compress. The warmth will help in reducing the size of scabs on scalp. This makes the scabs first get softened and then start getting smaller in size also causing less itchiness and pain. Steam or warm towel any thing can be used on scalp.

Just be sure to keep the warm towel for at least 15 minutes every day and comb it well later on to get rid of scabs.

9. Lemon Juice:

Lemon Juice
ImageSource: youtube.com

Lemon is oozing with Vitamin C, anti-microbial properties and it is a great disinfectant which helps in quick healing and soothing. Lemon is also bestowed with natural antiseptic properties which helps in reducing dryness of scalp first then eventually clearing the scabs effectively.

Just mix lemon juice with any warm hair oil or coconut or olive oil. Massage well and keep it overnight. Then wash away with lukewarm water.

10. Listerine Mouthwash:

Listerine mouthwash
ImageSource: hearstapps.com

Listerine mouth wash has some magical properties like disinfectant, antiseptic and healing to treat scabs on scalp. The fungal infection clears well when Listerine is used regularly.

Just apply some listerine mouth wash while washing your hair. Keep it for 15 minutes and then wash it away. Do not forget to use conditioner as listerine may cause the hair strands to dry out on scalp crust.

11. Tea Tree Oil:

Tea Tree Oil
ImageSource: ohsimply.com

Tea tree oil has power anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and healing properties. It is an essential oil which cleanses and removes infection from crusty scalp. It also revitalizes and replenishes the scalp with health and nutrition.

Just apply tea tree oil at night and gently massage for a few minutes. The next morning wash it away with lukewarm water.

Being Proactive is Better When It Comes to Hair and Skin:

hair and skinHair and skin ailments may be tough to cure, so better take proactive measure and prevent them in the first place. It is necessary to know how to prevent scalp scabs and treat scalp scabs as they can affect hair strength and skin health. Take proper care of your hair, especially when changing weather causes havoc on skin. Do not apply harsh chemical based products and keep up with your healthy lifestyle.

Use humidifiers in dry and winter season to keep the hair moisturized and prevent flaky scalp. Do not wash your hair too often as it causes more harm than hygiene. Limit hair washes to once a week or twice a week. Do not apply shampoo directly to hair but dilute it with water and then apply.

Never share comb or towel with anyone as it causes infections and allergic reactions resulting in skin and scalp deformities. Keep up your hygiene and do not let your hair get exposed to sunlight or sweat much. Always get your hair checked for lice, nits, and dandruff once a month. And eat more fruits and vegetables than processed food in your diet.

Hair care requires a regular effort and a routine to wash, dry, massage and steam your hair. Keep your hair trimmed once every six months to avoid thinning ends. And use a good oil like coconut, olive or castor oil to massage hair and scalp once a week. This will not only cure but prevent scabs on the scalp and other deformities too.


The above compilation on A detailed guide to understanding and treating Scalp scabs is based on experiences and learning over time. There are basic rules and some proactive approaches which help in preventing and curing scabs on the scalp. But for severe impacts see your dermatologist immediately. Any continuous scabs must be diagnosed by health care provider for skin or other malignant cancers. Share ahead and keep writing us, we love hearing from you!